Indonesia To Focus On Athlete Training, Facilities And Flood Prevention In Preparation For Jakarta 2032 Olympic Bid

Indonesia’s sport officials are ramping up plans for a 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid and have announced a strategy to build infrastructure that will help develop more successful athletes.

Asian Para Games closing ceremony in Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, 2018
Asian Para Games closing ceremony in Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, 2018 (Wikipedia)

Specifically, Indonesia’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) Chief Raja Sapta Oktohari outlined plans to construct a training facility consistent with those he saw during recent visits to China, Japan, South Korea, France, the Netherlands and Australia – nations he says have been successful at recent Games.

“We will coordinate with the government to build the world-class training facility,” Okto said in a statement last week.

Indonesia has brought home seven gold medals, all in badminton, since its first two champions were crowned at the Barcelona 1992 Games.  The nation has won a single gold at every Games since, with the exception of London in 2012.

Funding for the facility could be secured through the private or public sector or through a private-public partnership, but Oktohari stressed that planning should begin immediately so athletes would be ready for 2032.

Oktohari said with the new facility, added to the existing venues – some used at the Jakarta-Palembang 2018 Asian Games – will provide the basis for the Olympic bid.

“We need to work on [the facility] now,” Oktohari said, according to the Jakarta Post.

“I also have to make sure that the facility will be free of floods, which could hamper the athletes’ training program.”

Jakarta is prone to flooding, and over the recent New Years period heavy rains led to major flooding across the city.  Oktohari has urged the government to develop an early warning system and additional infrastructure to deal with the risks.

“My experience in the South-east Asian Games was that the Philippines was more advanced than Indonesia when it comes to a disaster early-warning system,” Okto said in a statement.

“The warning arrived four days before the typhoon. The warning appeared on each cellular phone as it was integrated with providers.

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“We will be preparing to host the Olympics in the next 10 years. How can we host the Olympics if there are floods?

“We have to stay positive despite the fact that [no early-warning system] could be one of the considerations that fails us as an Olympics host.

“We can avoid such a scenario if we show improvement.”

Jakarta is also reviewing a possible ‘river normalization’ project to widen the Ciliwung River and install barriers to help mitigate flooding.  Opponents of the project claim the work would require the displacement of many residents along the banks or the river.

The ongoing flooding problem has prompted the Indonesian government to plan a move of the capital to a location in Borneo.

A bid by Australia’s Queensland is the perceived front runner in the 2032 race with other interest coming from Germany, India and jointly between North and South Korea.

Australia expects to submit a documented project to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games in July, with a targeted dialog scheduled for the balance of the year.

New IOC rules approved last year pushed the bid process behind closed doors, removing formalities, timelines and deadlines.  While the IOC Executive Board could name a host city at any time, they are not expected to do so before 2021.

Last February, Jakarta submitted a letter-of-intent to the IOC to bid for the Games.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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